PlayStation Vita: Time For A Price Drop
If Sony fails to act, its system could flounder, then croak.
My personal experience with Sony's PlayStation Vita was disappointingly familiar to the PSP. Eager to get my hands on the hardware, I snatched one up on launch day, marveled at the tech (again, with Lumines), put it down with the assumption that I'd pick it back up in quick fashion and haven't touched it since. That was late March/early April. At this point, it wouldn't surprise me if the system's battery was kaput.
With this in mind, I'm not exactly in line for being a Sony spokesperson, but neither is Sony. To date, the company has failed to make a compelling argument why consumers should plunk down $249.99 or $299.99 for the handheld. Chalk that up to a confusing ad campaign, a steep barrier to entry and not many games on the horizon. Sure, Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty are on the way, but those won't appear until the fall at the earliest.
Remember that Nintendo went through a similar growing period with 3DS. Just like Vita, my 3DS collected dust while nestled in its charge cradle. There weren't compelling reasons to support the machine, not with a steady stream of more affordably priced iPhone and iPad games releasing on a weekly basis.
Of course, Nintendo learned the hard way that the buying public didn't want to fork over $249.99 for a traditional handheld system and the company slashed the price to $169.99. And yes, the big N ate a huge piece of humble pie, but it also managed to recover. Turns out, $170 appeals to a lot of folks, and a steadier stream of high profile games helped tremendously.
Now in Sony's case, I don't expect the company to conjure games out of thin air. Then again, it can still make an impact by dropping the price of Vita to $199.99 or less. It's one way to salvage summer 2012 in the wake of Nintendo's 3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2, both of which create a formidable duo that'll only serve to set Vita farther back than it already is.
Not only that, but sales of smartphones and tablets show no signs of slowing down. It's no surprise that people love cheap games, and by cheap, I'm referring specifically to cost, not quality; both Sony and Nintendo could learn something from mobile.
Bottom line, it's time to drop the price of PlayStation Vita before it's too late. If this doesn't happen, even a giant like Call of Duty may not be able to save this stumbling portable from joining the likes of the Game Gear, Atari Lynx and Turbo Express.